Ear candling – Should I try or not?
There are claims that ear candling can help remove earwax, as hollow cone of ear candles creates a low-level vacuum that softens and suctions the ear wax . However, study has shown that ear candles do not produce a vacuum effect, and do not remove earwax as claimed .
Safety and side effects
Ear candling can in fact cause a few safety issues, including:
- Burns and damages to the ear, surrounding skin and hair
- Candlewax drops into ear canal and results in ear blockage
- Puncturing eardrum
- Ear infections
- Contributes to Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s ear)
- Causes damage to middle ear
- Hearing loss
Comments from general practitioners and doctors are that ear candling absolutely does more harm than good. Ear candling is not encouraged.
How do I clean my earwax then?
In fact, there is a self-cleaning system in our ears that helps us clear earwax regularly. Earwax also acts as a protective barrier to protect the ear canal from bacteria and fungus. Therefore, you don’t have to clear your earwax under normal circumstances. In case there is impacted earwax in your ear canal, you should seek advice from the doctor and let the doctor to remove the earwax for you. In some cases, you may be offered medicines to soften the earwax.
- Rafferty J, Tsikoudas A, Davis BC. Ear candling: should general practitioners recommend it? Can Fam Physician. 2007;53(12):2121–2122.
- Seely DR, Quigley SM, Langman AW. Ear candles–efficacy and safety. Laryngoscope. 1996;106(10):1226-9. doi:10.1097/00005537-199610000-00010